It’s her Senior year. This translates to gobs of deadlines and events, testing, deciding, planning, and so many other things. It’s a vast precipice to peer out over. We wrap up, while preparing for. It’s the end of, and beginning of, big course-setting seasons.
My petite, quiet one: so unassuming and despising the limelight, yet it finds her. I watched her slip into that size zero dress and thought to myself, “There is no room for fluff.” There is no pretense to her; she is the real deal, through and through.
Inside and out, she possesses such elegance. All the sense and wit and God-given giftings. The reserved ones can be easily overlooked and underestimated, but not her. She radiates from the inside out. I can still see every baby face and phase, though she looks like a woman now. And what an incredible woman she is, right now, in all her becoming. I am taken by her subdued beauty.
Meanwhile, looking back, eighteen was my most life-altering year. I conceived my first child, put down some spiritual roots, married my husband, and bought my first home, all in that order. In six months time my life had changed drastically, but it felt like it happened overnight. I took on three new identities and roles nearly simultaneously. It was hard work, with a steep learning curve, but I didn’t know any different. My life has never been the same since, and for the better. I don’t think I’d change a thing about back then, and I suppose my naivety was ultimately a gift.
I know there’s a lot of pressure at this place, to have it all lined out and figured out. Its probably mostly unrealistic, though. I sure didn’t know what I wanted to be at that age. I didn’t even know who I was at the time, for the most part. Not until I became a wife and mother. Then I had two solid titles to grow into, and good gravy, if I’m not still growing into them today. Still, trying to understand what all this means.
I think it’s OK to not know what you want to give yourself to at this age. It was made definitive for me because of some very grown-up decisions I made as a barely adult girl. But for those who have a blank slate before them, and in essence, the bull to grab by the horns, how much more complex a decision to make. That’s why we pray, lay out our future like a fleece, and ask for the path to be made clear. He will show you.
A life is a huge thing to take into our own hands: our own lives, and others’. I sure have made a mess at times when I’ve gone my own way and let my heart steer me straight into a ditch. Sometimes right off a cliff, but somehow, getting pulled out by your belt loops can put you back on the road. There will be ditches. There will be collisions. Yet, there will also be rescue. We don’t have to miss our very best life, even if there are detours. For this, I am grateful. More than I can even express.
So, grow slow. Grow deep and wide. No need to be hasty or hurried. The world doesn’t stop spinning because we don’t know who we are to be in it. We will know as we go.